April 21, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Jaipur: In yet another instance of discrimination against Sikh political prisoners, the state of Rajasthan has denied parole of Harnek Singh Bhapp, despite directions of Indian Supreme Court to grant special parole of prisoners in order to reduce number of inmates in prisons.
Harnek Singh is presently undergoing imprisonment for life in Jaipur central jail.
PAROLE WAS GRANTED; HARNEK SINGH’s NAME WAS IN LIST:
Rajasthan government’s official documents accessed by the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) reveal that Harnek Singh Bhapp was granted 4 weeks special parole in accordance with directions issued by the Supreme Court of India directing states to reduce the number of inmates in prisons.
Documents show that the Rajasthan authorities had issued a list of 148 prisoners who were to be released from jails on 4 weeks special parole. The decision in this regard was taken on 13 April 2020 and Harnek Singh’s name was included in the concerned list at number 5.
PAROLE ORDER AND LIST:Rajasthan jaipur jail parole order harnek singh bhapp 4
HARNEK SINGH NOT RELEASED:
Despite having taken the decision to release Harnek Singh along with other prisoners, he was not released by the Rajasthan government.
LAWYER SEEKS INFORMATION:
When Harnek Singh was not released from prison, his local lawyer Vishram Prajapati sent a letter to Rajasthan authorities, along with a copy of release order issued in accordance with directions of the SCI. In his letter Advocate Prajapati south Harnek Singh’s release as per release order dated 13 April 2020.
COPY OF LETTER WRITTEN BY HARNEK SINGH’s LAWYER:Letter to Rajasthan Jaipur Jail authorities Harnek Singh Bhapp parole cancel
AUTHORITIES SAY HARNEK SINGH’s PAROLE WAS CANCELLED:
In response to Harnek Singh’s counsel’s letter Rajasthan authorities said that after holding a special meeting of the state level parole committee on 17 April 2020, Harnek Singh’s parole was cancelled.
COPY OF RESPONSE FROM JAIPUR JAIL AUTHORITIES:Rajashtan Jail Authorities Order Jaipur Jial Harnek Singh Bhapp Parole Cancel
NO REASON WAS DISCLOSED:
The response issued by Jaipur jail authorities on 21 April 2020 did not disclose any reason for cancelling parole of Harnek Singh.
DECISION IS DISCRIMINATORY; AGAINST ADVISORY ISSUED BY SCI: ADVO. MANJHPUR
Talking to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN), Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur- who maintains the list of Sikh political prisoners, termed Rajasthan authorities’ decision as ‘discriminatory’.
“After taking a decision to release 148 prisoners, including Harnek Singh on parole, they held a meeting and decided to withdraw the parole order with regard to Harnek Singh. This is clearly discriminatory”, he maintained.
“The SCI, in a suo-motu hearing, issued directions to governments and jail authorities to release prisoners on special parole in order to reduce the number of inmates in prisons. The directions were issued in wake of the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic. In present circumstances, the Rajasthan authorities’ decision to withdraw parole of Harnek Singh also amounts to violation of SCI’s directions”, said he.
ORDER TO BE CHALLENGED IN HIGH COURT:
Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said that they would challenge Rajasthan government’s decision to cancel the parole of Harnek Singh in the High Court.
SECOND INSTANCE OF CANCELLATION OF PAROLE OF SIKH POLITICAL PRISONERS:
This is the second instance when parole of a Sikh political prisoner is cancelled despite directions of the SCI to release prisoners on parole. Earlier the Punjab government had denied parole to Sikh political prisoner Balbir Singh Bira citing COIVD-19 pandemic and statewide lockdown.
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